The County of Wellington says it is relocating the residents of a temporary housing pilot project at Jesuit Centre’s Loyola House to a hotel in the city of Guelph.
The move to the Holiday Inn Express on Silvercreek Parkway is underway and should be completed by Nov. 30 when the county’s lease with Loyola House is set to expire.
“We are very thankful for the partnership we’ve been able to cultivate with the Ignatius Jesuit Centre,” said Wellington County Warden Kelly Linton.
“Finding innovative solutions to help adults and youth with the appropriate supports and housing placements are key to ending chronic homelessness in our communities, and we hope to partner with Loyola House again in the future.”
The county is responsible for homelessness prevention programs for Guelph and launched the pilot program at Loyola House in October 2020 to provide temporary housing and on-site support to 45 adults in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lease could not be extended as scheduled renovation work on the building needs to be completed.
The county said that the move to the Holiday Inn Express will ensure it can continue to safely serve individuals experiencing homelessness. It will also provide the county with more rooms to help meet the need during the winter months.
The agreement with the Holiday Inn Express lasts until the end of June 2022.
The original plan to move into a building next to Guelph General Hospital has been tied up in an appeal process after Guelph city council unanimously endorsed the idea in the summer.
Wellington County had been trying to purchase the two-storey building at 65 Delhi St. from the city and convert it into 28 bedrooms for the homeless who can then live there for up to three years and receive around the clock support while trying to find permanent housing.
A local neighbourhood group has filed an appeal with the Ontario Land Tribunal, which likely won’t be heard until the new year.
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The appeal or the building at 65 Delhi St. wasn’t mentioned in a news release from the county on Friday, but it did say the county intends to work with community partners to house as many individuals as possible.
“Over the past two years, the county and partners have made great strides toward our community goal of ending chronic homelessness,” said social services committee chair David Anderson.
“Our community partners are doing great work to prevent and end homelessness, and we’ve already seen a 41 per cent reduction in chronic homelessness on our by-name lists, and a 78 per cent reduction in youth homelessness.”
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